Innovative hydrogen cogeneration plant in Hassfurt, Germany

Here’s a great story of at least five DecarbEurope solutions working together. Wind is converted to hydrogen (and stored) which is then combusted in a cogeneration unit. Downstream is electricity and heat, and heat distribution means district heating.

Stadtwerke Hassfurt, a German local utility, has realised a ground-breaking project for regional renewable energy supplies. It generates its own hydrogen from local renewable electricity and uses it in a cogeneration unit to supply regional customers with heat and electricity.

In a nutshell

Stadtwerke Hassfurt partnered with 2G, a cogeneration manufacturer from Germany and a COGEN Europe member, to install a cogeneration unit running on pure hydrogen.

Stadtwerke Hassfurt produces its own hydrogen with an electrolyzer from electricity supplied by a local wind farm. The hydrogen is then stored in a storage facility.

The 2G cogeneration unit closes the renewable circle. It transforms the hydrogen into heat and electricity which is supplied to its regional customers. Reaching efficiencies well over 80%, it is an extremely efficient and cost-effective way of using hydrogen. This fully decarbonised energy solution is ideally suited for local energy communities to provide their own heat and electricity.

Some more details

The project is overseen by the Städtische Betriebe Haßfurt GmbH with funding from the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Development and Energy (StMWi). Project partners are Stadtwerk Haßfurt GmbH, 2G Energy AG from Heek and the Institute for Energy Technology (IfE) at the Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Amberg-Weiden.

The hydrogen is produced by a power-to-gas plant in Hassfurter Hafen, which uses surplus electricity from the wind farm in the nearby Sailershäuser Wald to electrolyze the water. In the CHP plant, the hydrogen is then converted back to electricity or heat with efficiencies of over 85 percent as needed. The electricity from the CHP plant is fed into the city’s electricity grid.

The innovative CHP module was developed by 2G Energy AG and delivers an electrical output of up to 200 kW. Initial operating results show good efficiencies and, thanks to the hydrogen combustion process, very high dynamics of the CHP, which, in conjunction with the existing PEM electrolyser, enables local compensation of surpluses and shortages from regenerative power generation as well as the provision of control energy.

The project is scientifically and technically observed by the Institute of Energy Technology. The researchers expect the project to provide practical insights and long-term experience on the hydrogen operation of combined heat and power plants. The project also serves as a research platform for further development of H2-BHP technology and was therefore equipped with special instrumentation access points.

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